Airbus has unveiled the A350 XWB’s development cabin interior installed on board flight-test aircraft ‘MSN002’ at the Airbus site in Hamburg. MSN002, which made its first flight on 26th February 2014, is the first of two test aircraft fitted with a passenger interior and is part of the growing A350 XWB development fleet. Intensive cabin flight and ground tests have already been performed during a two-week stay of the aircraft in Hamburg in mid-March 2014. The cabins of all Airbus aircraft are developed by the engineering and research teams based there. The new interior demonstrates how the aircraft’s “eXtra-wide” fuselage will soon offer passengers even more personal space, flexibility and comfort in business and economy classes, and especially, a wide 18” seat in 9-abreast economy.
Chris Emerson, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Airbus said: “Passenger comfort is an increasingly important differentiator for the airline industry, becoming a fundamental deciding factor driving passenger choice and business success.” He adds: “The A350 XWB is the only aircraft in its sector to truly offer ‘comfort without compromise’, while providing airlines with unrivalled operating economics, flexibility and fuel efficiency.”
A350 XWB MSN002 will be tasked with conducting a series of “Early Long Flights” with its cabin accommodating real passengers. ‘Hot and cold’ cabin trials will also feature in its busy test programme, which also includes validation of the advanced fourth-generation in-flight-entertainment (IFE). MSN002 will soon be joined by the second cabin-equipped A350 MSN005, which will be tasked with route-proving flights around the world to the major destinations it will serve.
Airbus inaugurates A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre in Hamburg
Together with the unveiling of the first A350 XWB test cabin, Airbus also inaugurated its dedicated A350 XWB Customer Definition Centre (CDC) where airline customers and operators will follow an efficient cabin design and definition process allowing shorter lead times. The CDC, which features individually tailored zones, enables the customers to see, feel and test the real catalogue solutions presented in a showroom environment, and in close cooperation with the risk-sharing partners. The centre also incorporates the innovative electronic “A350 XWB Configurator” – a virtual environment and modelling tool for accelerated cabin specification and visualisation. In short, the CDC is a “one-stop-shop” for airlines to establish their own A350 XWB cabin definition efficiently in one place.
Notable passenger-pleasing features of the A350 XWB cabin which customers can evaluate for real in the CDC include the full cabin LED lighting with 16.7 million possible colours for customized ambiances and scenarios, or the various galley options. They will also be able to experience the wide array of fourth-generation IFE consoles and high-definition display options – for which the associated electronics boxes and connections are smartly integrated and combined with the aircraft’s unique flat floor architecture, thus freeing-up even more personal space, under the seat.
Visitors to the CDC’s full-scale mock-ups will also appreciate the aircraft’s near-vertical sidewalls, adding eXtra spaciousness to the cabin and the large overhead stowage bins to match growing hand-luggage volume requirements.
The A350 XWB is Airbus’ all-new mid-size long range product line comprising three versions covering a wide range of capacities from 276 to 369 seats. This family, whose 221-inch wide internal cabin cross-section is optimized for full long-range passenger comfort in all classes, brings a 25 percent step change in efficiency compared with existing aircraft in this size category. At the end of March 2014, the A350 XWB had won 812 orders from 39 customers worldwide.